How to Speed up Your WordPress Website And Decrease Page Load Time

How to Speed up Your WordPress Website And Decrease Page Load Time

Do you feel that your WordPress website loads way to slow?

Well, I surely did.

You’ve built a good-looking website and can’t wait to show it to others.

Full of enthusiasm you test your website out after you have made some changes.

So you enter your website URL and see if everything works fine.

But then it happened…

You wait, you wait and you keep waiting until it finally loads.

Oh man, I hate this feeling, but I’ve solved it and now I want to help you too.

After reading this blog post you know exactly how to decrease the page load time of your website or blog.

Grab a coffee, sit back, relax and just learn.

In this blog post, I’m going to cover the following:

5 Tips On How To Make Your WordPress Website Load Faster

Having a fast loading website doesn’t only benefit the user experience of your readers, but Google officially considers speed as a ranking factor nowadays.

Speed is important, a large number of visitors will leave a website before it even loads if they think it’s slow. Website speed optimization should be a top priority if you want to make money online.

Check out the effects of a slow loading website.

neil patel how to speed up wordpress website
source: Neil Patel

As you can see, every second counts and a slow website could easily lower your revenue or damages your brand, which you want to avoid at all costs.

I’m going to show you 5 simple tips on how to speed up your WordPress website and decrease your page load time that worked for me.

Let’s go!

1. Fast Web Hosting For WordPress

One of the major keys to make your website load faster is using fast web hosting.

This can really make or break a website. If you take the cheap options you can have some problems down the road when you start to get some good traffic coming in.

The most common hosting is Shared hosting.

If you are starting out, this will do the job, but if you really want to have a lightning fast website I don’t recommend this.

With shared hosting, you are using a server that is used by many other websites and this can really slow things down… especially at peak times.

Shared hosting is something I would stay away from if you’re serious about building a smooth running website.

The solution to this is using WordPress hosting.

I recently changed one of my old websites over to WordPress hosting from shared and the results were amazing…. a jump from 71% all the way up to 89%.

Another positive effect is that a better hosting reduces the server response time, which results a faster website.

I’ve been using Siteground for a while now and I’m really happy with my decision. A funny fact is that WordPress itself recommends Siteground too!

siteground speed up website

 

If you are interested in hosting your website on a blazing fast web host, I wrote a detailed step by step guide on how to set up a WordPress website on Siteground from scratch.

The opposite of shared hosting is dedicated hosting. You basically host your website on a high-class dedicated machine set up and managed by employees of your desired web hosting company.

And you can expect a lot of highly innovative proprietary software to boost your server performance and give you more functionality than anyone else.

Instead of sharing the server with others, you own the entire server.

Sounds good, right?

It is, but high quality often goes hand in hand with a high price. Don’t expect anything less than $200-$600/month for using a dedicated server.

If you aren’t getting 1 million plus views a month I wouldn’t worry about it, and stick with the WordPress hosting.

2. Fast Loading Themes

A badly coded theme can slow things down. Spend some time finding the right one.

I’ve spent hours scrolling through themes trying to find the good ones, but in the end, it’s worth it…

A bad theme can seriously cause problems so it’s best to do this right. In a recent post on how to design your blog, I touched on the thousands of themes that are available and ready to get picked.

how to design your wordpress blog

Normally you head over to ‘Appearance’ > ‘Themes’ > ‘New Theme’ to make a choice. Frankly, there are way more themes that are better optimized but are not shown in the list.

I’m referring to third-party companies that develop their own exclusive themes.

Most of these themes are coded for speed and performance.

Some themes are paid, and others are free.

Having a paid theme doesn’t only make you more unique and allows you to stand out from the crowd, but you it also includes support in case something isn’t working properly.

If you have any questions regarding the theme, the developers will gladly help you out. Please note that it varies per theme and developer of course.

These are three great alternative theme providers:

MyThemeShop offers great themes both paid and free! These guys make seriously fast themes and have world-class forum support.

Elegant Themes also has some great options. Have you ever heard of the popular Divi Theme? Well, they developed it!

Thrive Themes is something for you if you’re looking for conversion focused WordPress themes. Thrive Themes are built for speed, readability and clarity. They also provide more features that enable you to create the best website you can imagine.

3. Optimize Images For Speed

Image optimization is the next very important part of getting a faster website.

Unoptimized and big images are often responsible for slow page load times.

This is what you need to do to get optimized your images.

You can use Photoshop or Paint.net (100% Free) and Tiny PNG (Free as well) to optimize your images.

The first step is to upload an image to Photoshop and then resize it before uploading. Go to Image > Image size. Resize it as close as possible to your website sizing. Mine is 1000 pixels wide, yours might be smaller. Make sure the image is at 100% and nothing less.

Now we have your image size go to File > Save for web… This is important, it’s the best format to use. Click Save.

Btw, I would pick jpg images over png. Jpg provides the same quality but are noticeably smaller.

What is the difference between JPG and PNG?

1.JPG is a lossy format while PNG is a lossless format.
2.JPG is better for photographs while PNG is better for created images.
3.JPG supports the embedding of EXIF data while PNG does not.
4.PNG supports transparency while JPG does not. (source)

Now that we have some images ready it’s a good idea to squeeze as much as we can out of them. To do this, I simply use Tiny PNG and in most cases, it will compress any image by 60-80%.

image optimization

Alright, so now we have these bad boys super compressed and ready to upload, it’s time to go back to your WordPress blog post and click on ‘Add Media’.

Next, you simply upload the image you’ve downloaded from TinyPNG.

Once it is done, it’s also uploaded to the WordPressress library so you can use it again if you need it.

But, that is not it.

I also use a plugin to optimize my images even more. The plugin is called ‘Smush Image Compression and Optimization‘ or ‘WP Smush’.

They basically claim to resize, optimize and compress all of your images with the incredibly powerful and 100% free WordPress image smusher.

Over 3700+ people rated it 5 stars and I completely agree with them.

Oh, and don’t worry you have to optimize every image manually, because WP Smush allows you to bulk smush, so all the pictures are going to be smushed with just one click.

Besides, it is free to use.

So, if you have resized your images with Photoshop or Paint.net, reduced the size with TinyPNG and smushed it with WP Smush. Your images are completely optimized, which will definitely speed up your website’s load time.

4. Plugins To Speed Up Your Website or Blog

Many bloggers want to install lots of plugins to customize their blog, but it comes at the expense of their website speed.

Try to keep plugins to a minimum as they can cause issues with speed if badly coded. I’ll show you some plugins that can help speed things up.

A3 Lazy Load

A3 Lazy Load is a very simple plugin to use that will speed up sites page load speed. The more content heavy your site the better the plugin will perform and the more you will see the improvements in performance.

As the user scrolls down the page the next lot of elements you have applied Lazy Load to are only loaded as they become visible in the view port.

Autoptimize

Autoptimize concatenates all scripts and styles, minifies and compresses them, adds expires headers, caches them, and moves styles to the page head, and scripts to the footer.

Plus it also minifies the HTML code itself, which can really speed up your WordPress website.

WP Super Cache

Plugins like this generate static HTML files from your dynamic WordPress blog.

After an HTML file is generated your web server will serve that file instead of processing the comparatively heavier and more expensive WordPress PHP scripts.

If you go with WordPress hosting you won’t need a plugin like this,  It’s all done by the hosting company.

WP-Optimize

Wp-Optimize is a cool little plugin. It deletes obsolete data from database like revisions, draft, auto draft, moderated comments, spam comments, trash comments and more. Over time all the obsolete data can slow things down.

5. Use A CDN To Load Your Website Faster

Every website is hosted on a data center in a specific country.

Let’s say you just started your blog.

When you signed up for a hosting plan you had to pick a data center that your web hosting company facilitates. The closer you are to the data center, the faster your website will load.

Siteground, for example, uses data centers on 3 continents (North-America, Europe and Asia)! This means that it doesn’t matter where in the world you are located, you can use Siteground to host your website.

But…

What if you want to host your website in the United States but also want to provide a fast website to the rest of the world, you need a CDN.

What is a CDN?

A CDN is a group of servers which work together to provide fast delivery of internet content.

what is a cdn

A CDN (content delivery network) distributes your content from multiple locations around the world, this helps the content load faster. If a user from Australia accesses the site, it gets served from an Australian server.

But…

If someone from America accesses the site, it gets served from an American server.

So it enables you to load the website from hundreds of servers around the world, which means that the website will load way faster regardless of where you are in the world.

Another benefit to this service is security. CDNs can detect threats to your website.

Cloudflare, for example, is a CDN that blocks threats and limit abusive bots and crawlers from wasting your bandwidth and server resources. It also protects your website against DDoS-attacks.

MaxCDN (which is integrated into Stackpath) is another popular CDN provider. It ensures a fast and secure website for everyone.

Head over to MaxCDN and sign up for a free account then follow the instructions. A CDN is more of an advanced option, so install with care.

what is cdn

Wrapping it up

That is it, I have touched on 5 simple tips to speed up your WordPress website and decrease your page load time. Having a fast website is mandatory to rank higher on Google and other search engines.

If you really want to speed things up then you should:

  • Change your hosting
  • Improve image optimization
  • Install a good and lightweight theme.
  • Install specific plugins
  • Use a good CDN

If you have a lot of traffic (500k-1mil+ monthly views) and really want a super fast loading website, you should consider getting your website hosted on a dedicated server.

It is isn’t cheap, but worth it.

Keeping websites under 3-4 seconds loading time is optimal. Anything over this, you should look at some options for speeding it up.

Head over to GTMetrix or Pingdom to conduct a website speed and performance test and see what you need to improve.

Now over to you!

Which method do you like the most and works best for you?

Which speed optimization plugins are you currently using to increase the overall website speed?

Either way, let me know down in the comment section!

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